‘We’ve no bank, no Garda station and now no credit union’

Rush Credit Union liquidation comes as surprise to members

Rush Credit Union in Co Dublin: Two signs were displayed outside the office: one provided numbers to contact; the other was a statement from staff. Photograph: Garrett White

Rush Credit Union in Co Dublin: Two signs were displayed outside the office: one provided numbers to contact; the other was a statement from staff. Photograph: Garrett White

 

Not everyone was aware yesterday that Rush’s credit union was being liquidated. And a day after the High Court approved the appointment of liquidators, their representative, who was checking that the doors of its offices on Sandy Road, could shed little light, offering only a “no comment”.

Jean Kiberd first joined a credit union when she was 14 and has been with Rush Credit Union since she moved to the town 17 years ago.

“It was the fact that the branch was local which made it so easy to use,” she said. “The staff here all knew us. What happens now to my goodwill? I always felt that being part of a league meant we wouldn’t be let down like this.”

Anne McMenamin said she had some shares and also a small loan with the credit union “which I’m anxious to keep on top of”.

“ You can’t even get money out of the ATM [which had a sign saying ‘Out of Order’ taped to it]. It’s really bad for the town. We’ve no bank, no Garda station and now no credit union.”

Dublin Business School student Brandon Nolan was busy putting the contact numbers posted on the building’s glass front into his phone.

“I wasn’t aware of the liquidation,” he said. “I am heading to France on my holidays and called here to get some of my savings out. I’ve been a member for two to three years. All the family are members of this branch.”

Two signs were taped to the windows of the credit union office. One provided two numbers for members to contact. The other was a statement from staff.

‘Devastated’

It said they were “devastated and shocked by the events of the last few days and months”, the statement said. “This has not been an easy time for us here as we worked to the best of our ability in the difficult circumstances we were faced with.”

The typed note said staff said they had co-operated with all investigations and reviews since gardaí were called in earlier this year to investigate the suspected disappearance of €700,000 “on the basis that we were working in the members’ best interest”.

Fiona Monks, a member of Rush Credit Union for about 30 years, was a regular visitor to the branch. “I have a bigger loan with them than I have money in there. I called in every week to pay back the loan and want to know what’s going on and how I can keep on top of things,” she said yesterday.

Another resident, who didn’t want to be named, said she was bringing her car for an NCT test and had come to move money “to make sure I could meet the charge”.

“That’s the kind of thing I used the credit union for,” she said. “It’s a real mess.”

For the many account-holders who had heard of the liquidation, the focus yesterday was the local post office to inquire about savings options. As the only financial institution left in Rush, it could be kept very busy in the run-up to Christmas.